I found myself at a familiar place this morning, one of our local beaches. Remembering all the times a beach, pond, river or lake has supported me emotionally, physically, spiritually and mentally, I felt at ease. Growing up in Massachusetts, we often went to Wollaston beach in Quincy or Nantasket beach in Hull. I loved playing in the sand and the surf. As I grew older, we went to White Horse beach in Plymouth. My preference was to bake in the sun and hang out with the teenagers my age. As an adult, I find the most solace in walking the beach, when it is off season.
The beach saved my life
Once in my twenties, I had suicidal thoughts. Rather than acting on them, I got in my car and drove to the beach. This was a dark time of uncovering past abuse and facing the fact that some people I thought I could trust, denied the reality I lived through. My world was broken and my sense of self was shaken. I remember standing out at the water’s edge, praying to God for help. It was a slow road but I was supported and guided away from these thoughts, to health. I am grateful to not have acted on these thoughts and have a career that has helped many others, in their healing journey.
The beach helped me grieve
The summer after my brother-in- law died, I was fifteen years old. I often went to the beach with my sister, nephew and niece. It was nice to have a sense of normalcy and be around people without having to talk to them. Despite my sadness and loss, I could reconnect to the present moment through my five senses. I felt the warmth of the sun, sand and water on my body. I heard the seagulls and surf. I saw the beautiful blue sky, waves and brown sand. I smelled the salty air, coconut oil and suntan lotions. I tasted the salty air and sandwiches we brought for lunch. I found myself again at the beach every month for a year, after my Mom’s death.
The beach is my church and home
I found a special connection to God and my soul at the beach. This place calms and grounds me. As soon as I walk out on the sand, I am received, held and supported. Slowing down, I receive guidance and marvel in the beauty of this life.
I find myself being drawn back to the beach because of the ongoing pandemic, political divides, worldly issues and even my own uprising within, known as perimenopause. All of these instances, hold a grief but on a different level. l know without a doubt, the beach supports all of this and me too. I am truly grateful to live so close to a variety of water bodies.
For Empaths: A Special Section
Water in any form is highly healing for empaths. I know many of you may not live near natural bodies of water, but you can incorporate water into your daily energy routine. These practices help you clear others’ energies, hydrate, ground and release what you no longer need.
How has water or a body of water helped you heal?
Lisa Hutchison LMHC is a licensed psychotherapist and writing coach. She works for caring professionals, who want to prevent or treat compassion fatigue. Her specialty is teaching stress management, assertiveness and boundary setting. Lisa is the Amazon bestselling author of I Fill My Cup: A Journal for Compassionate Helpers and the kindle book Setting Ethical Limits for Caring & Competent Professionals. Get a FREE 10 page E-book; Why Compassionate People Run Out of Energy and What You Can Do About It at http://www.lisahutchison.net